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Governor General opens BIL-Ryerson DMZ in India

Official opening of Bombay Stock Exchange

Their Excellencies the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and Mrs. Sharon Johnston officially open BIL-Ryerson DMZ India by breaking a coconut, typically done in the country before starting a new undertaking. This first Canadian-led incubator in India is a joint venture between the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute Ltd., Ryerson University, Ryerson Futures Inc. and Simon Fraser University.

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, officially opened the first Canadian-led accelerator in India last week, a joint venture between the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute Ltd. (BIL), Ryerson University, Ryerson Futures Inc. (RFI) and Simon Fraser University.

The new India-based incubator, the BIL-Ryerson DMZ India, will assist entrepreneurs to fast-track their startups and connect with mentors, customers and investors. It is located at the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute and is built upon Ryerson’s model for its successful Digital Media Zone (DMZ) incubator in Toronto. The collaboration between BIL, Ryerson and RFI lays the groundwork to help young entrepreneurs expand into both the Indian and Canadian markets and also touches on a broad spectrum of areas in the domain of entrepreneurship development and professional development education.

“The very first Ryerson international fellowships for brilliant young entrepreneurs were announced here in India in 2011,” said Sheldon Levy, president of Ryerson University. “We are honoured to welcome the Governor General of Canada to the BIL-Ryerson DMZ India, and proud to grow our partnership with India and our colleagues from Simon Fraser University in the service of the global economy.”

Speaking about the development, Ambarish Datta, CEO of BIL, said “India will be one of the youngest nations in the world by 2020 and this changing demographic condition will mean that we need to gear up to provide employment to a large number of youth. We believe that creating skilled entrepreneurs will be the most effective means of engaging youth and providing gainful employment not only to the youth who pursue the path of entrepreneurship, but also to hundreds of youth they will in turn employ. We are confident that this incubator setup by BIL and Ryerson will help great ideas to be nurtured from their very source and built into the organizations of the future that will not only provide employment for our youth but also build products and solutions that put India on the global map of innovation.”

The BIL-Ryerson DMZ India is built on a unique model developed at Ryerson University that has attracted international attention. The Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University is one of Canada's largest incubators and multidisciplinary co-working spaces for young entrepreneurs. Infused with the energy and resources of downtown Toronto, this hub of digital media innovation, collaboration and commercialization is home to both startups and industry solution-providers. The DMZ leads the way in experiential learning and business success by creating a unique ecosystem of education and entrepreneurship. Emerging leaders fast-track their product launches and grow their companies in this supportive community by connecting with mentors, customers and each other. Since opening in April 2010, the DMZ has stimulated Canada's digital economy by incubating and accelerating 126 startups and fostering nearly 1,000 jobs.

For more on zone startups, see www.zonestartups.com.